SNL Heads to Russia, Poland

Broadway Video Enterprises has inked deals that will take NBC’s long-running late-night show Saturday Night Live to Russia and Poland for the first time, bringing the sketch comedy series’ reach to 113 markets.

In Poland, the show will air on the new channel Comedy Central Poland. Broadway Video Enterprises has also inked renewals of the show in South Korea and the Netherlands. The deals include recent seasons as well as classic Saturday Night Live episodes from the series’ 30-year run.
Source: worldscreen.com,

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Poland: NBP on hold but rate hike draws closer

Danske Bank A/S

Wed, 27 Sep 2006 15:34:51 GMT

The Polish central bank’s (NBP) Monetary Policy Council today decided in favour of unchanged interest rates, keeping the key policy rate at 4.00% - a decision completely in line with our and the market’s expectations.

While the Polish central bank has kept rates unchanged, the next move will definitely be upwards rather than downwards. Firstly because, although inflation in the Polish economy has been running below one percent for most of this year, it has accelerated during the past couple of months, reaching 1.6% y/y in August, and the upward trend seems likely to continue. Secondly, GDP growth is now running at more than 5%, and hence might well put additional pressure on inflation. Thirdly, political scandals have recently been hitting the region, first Hungary then, yesterday, revelations involving Lipinski, a top aide to the Polish prime minister. The political situation in the region is generally turning rather sour. Finally, many central banks in the region turned more hawkish this week, delivering surprise rate hikes in Slovakia (25bp), Hungary (50bp), and the Czech Republic (25bp). The Polish central bank will, of course, now be pushed to follow the track of the other central banks in the region.

Therefore, we believe the NBP will adopt a more hawkish tone in the weeks ahead, and it is becoming increasingly likely that the central bank will hike its rates by the end of this year.

Source: By Stanislava Pravdova, Lars Christensen, www.fxstreet.com

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Change crucial to Poland's success

Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz negotiated Poland’s entry into NATO and the European Union as his country’s prime minister a decade ago. But he understands the backlash being felt today across Europe against the rapid expansion of the Brussels-based government.

“People across Europe are weary of change,” he told University of South Carolina students Tuesday in a series of discussions and an evening lecture. “Everything in my country has changed.”

Cimoszewicz is no stranger to USC. He has a son-in-law who graduated from the university, and he received an honorary degree in 1997 from USC Upstate.

On Tuesday, he shared what he saw as the obstacles to new alliances in Europe.

The peoples of Western Europe who started the Common Market following World War II now must digest the incorporation of former Soviet-era enemies into the growing European Union.

Making all the different cultures, nations and language groups of Europe comfortable with the rapid change is the greatest challenge to European integration, he said.

And more change is inevitable, he said. Europeans on both sides of the old Iron Curtain are accustomed to high levels of Social Security. But Poland, like much of Europe, is aging rapidly. The death rate is higher than the birth rate, causing a shrinking population. And social reforms will be essential to make the EU competitive with Asia and North America.

When Poland began the process to join the EU 13 years ago, he had to adopt 500 new laws, and train 60,000 technocrats to manage relations with the EU’s 200 committees.

“It is easy to make people afraid if they are not well informed,” he said. “They hear that the price of their drugs will go up, or that the country will lose sovereignty.”

But Cimoszewicz has no doubt that his decision to lead his country into the western alliance was the right path for Poland.

“A country that joins the EU is more respected internationally,” he said.

And his fellow citizens have benefited handsomely from that choice. In the first two years of EU membership, Polish farmers’ income doubled, he said.

In the next six years, Poland will receive an additional $67 billion in EU subsidies, rcemore than the nation’s annual budget. Combined with foreign private investment, he expects more than $200 billion to be invested.

“My country has never seen anything like this,” he said.

Source:By JAMES T. HAMMOND, www.thestate.com

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Poland still more interesting for Japanese investors

Japanese companies find Poland a very promising place for their investments. The Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency informed that the agency is currently holding talks with 35 potential Japanese investors. This year the value of Japanese involvement may even reach 1 billion US dollars. This would equal all Japanese investments in Poland up to the end of 2005. One such investor is Funai company which is to open a LCD TV factory. The investor will create 1500 jobs. Funai plans the number of TV sets produced here to reach 1.8 million.


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Elections loom in Poland amid dirty tricks claims

Snap elections were looming in Poland today after a smaller party broke off coalition talks amid claims of a dirty tricks campaign by the ruling conservatives.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the Prime Minister, who swept to power promising to rid his country of sleaze, faced calls for his resignation after one his aides was caught on television apparently offering a government job to an opposition politician to try to persuade her to defect.

The allegations have scuppered attempts by Mr Kaczynski's Law and Justice Party to build a new majority coalition, after ditching their leftist partners, Self-Defence, last week in a row over the budget and a decision to send troops to Afghanistan.

Law and Justice officials today dismissed accusations of any wrongdoing, and said that Mr Kaczynski would not resign.

The turmoil began when the TVN television channel showed what it said were two meetings between Adam Lipinski, the Law and Justice deputy leader, and Renata Beger, a Self-Defence MP who has said she was considering backing the government.

He appeared to hold out the prospect of a government post for Ms Beger, and also suggested possible financial help for internal party fines Self-Defence defectors may have to pay.

In one part, Mr Lipinski asked her what she and other Self-Defence deputies expected for backing the government. "Secretary of state in the agriculture ministry, yes?" he asked."You know, this is not a problem at all ..."

In the second meeting, they discussed the penalty which Self-Defence says its deputies must pay if they quit the party.

Ms Beger asked about the possibility of help in such a case. "Yes, we were thinking of creating some fund," Mr Lipinski said.

Ms Beger later revealed she had agreed with TVN to film the meetings with Mr Lipinski secretly.

Asked to explain his comments, Mr Lipinski told TVN: "All I wanted is to prevent these deputies being threatened".

Poland’s main opposition party, the pro-business Civic Platform, called for an immediate special parliamentary session to vote on whether to dissolve parliament and hold early elections. Parliament’s next session is scheduled for October 10.

Bronislaw Komorowski, a leading Civic Platform member, told a news conference: "This is the best political road to solve the growing problem connected with allegations of corruption carried out by the most important political representatives in the country. We would like to avoid a public reaction like in Budapest. We would prefer to look for a political solution."

Donald Tusk, the leader of Civic Platform, accused the government of corruption and said it should resign.

Waldemar Pawlak, leader of the Peasants’ Party said: "We are waiting for Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski to explain this. The situation is very serious."

Law and Justice needs the support of the Peasants’ Party and some Self-Defence and independent MPs to secure a new majority, after Mr Kaczynski dumped Andrzej Lepper, the leader of Self-Defence, from his government on Friday, causing him to lose his fragile majority in parliament.

His party failed to win a majority in general elections last September, and formed a shaky alliance with Self-Defence and the small, right-wing League of Polish Families in May.

The continuing instability has led to calls for changes to electoral law, to create a more robust political system.

Mr Kaczynski was appointed to the post of Prime Minister by his identical younger twin, President Lech Kaczynski, after winning a confidence vote in parliament. The result means that Poland is the only country in the world to have twins holding the top two political jobs. The brothers first found fame as child actors, with angelic faces in a film version of the popular children's book The Two That Stole The Moon.

To avoid confusion, the twins rarely appear in public together but they are distinguishable because Lech has two moles on his cheek and nose.

Markets reacted nervous to the news. The zloty traded about 0.6 percent lower against the euro, with analysts saying the likelihood of new elections in central Europe’s largest emerging market had increased.

Danske Bank analyst Lars Christensen said: "It will now be impossible for the PM to get together a working majority."

The fresh political turmoil follows anti-government protests in fellow EU newcomer Hungary, after Ferenc Gyurcsany, the Hungarian Prime Minister, was also caught on tape - in this case admitting that he lied to the electorate.

Hungarian radio broadcast of a leaked recording in which Mr Gyurcsany can be heard admitting that the government had failed to implement reforms and lied about the state of the economy to increase its chances of electoral victory. The recording triggered protests, including two nights of rioting, and calls for the Prime Minister to step down.

In a report on new EU members today, the World Bank warned that political uncertainty and fragmentation had allowed populists to gain influence in the region, hampering reform.


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Poland Leaves Key Lending Rates Untouched

The National Bank of Poland (NBP) left key lending rates in Poland untouched Wednesday, in line with market expectations.

The key benchmark rate stayed pegged at the record low of 4.00 per cent, set by the central bank's independent Monetary Policy Council (RPP) in February.

The Lombard rate - the rate at which the central bank grants emergency loans to commercial banks - stayed at at 5.50 per cent.

Another rate used by the central bank for loans to commercial banks, the discount rate, remained at 4.25 per cent, while the deposit rate remained at 2.50 per cent, an RPP statement said.

Many economists believe the RPP will hold key lending rates at the current level until early 2007.


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Japanese investment in Poland hits billion-dollar mark

Japanese companies invested close to a billion dollars in Poland between 1989 and 2005, with more investment inflow expected in the near future, according to a senior Polish government minister. Global Japanese firms such as tyre manufacturer Bridgestone, electronics giants Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba and car maker Toyota have already set up shop in Poland, a member of the European Union since May 2004.

Most Japanese companies have taken advantage of investment incentives offered by Poland's 14 special economic zones, Deputy Economy Minister Andrzej Kaczmarek said Tuesday in Warsaw.

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Poland's unemployment rate lowest in 6 years

Unemployment fell again last month, this time by 0.2 percent. The results are encouraging, but what are the chances for further improvement?

The situation on the Polish labor market has further improved with the unemployment rate standing at 15.5% at the end of August. This marks a 0.2% drop on the previous month and a 2.2% decrease compared to the same period last year. Presenting the findings, deputy head of the Central Office of Statistics Halina Dmochowska said the analysis has shown some very encouraging patterns.

' The good news is that the biggest fall in figures has been registered in those regions which are troubled with the most numerous groups of jobless.'

She also pointed to the lowered rate of persons with an extended period of unemployment and a decrease in job seekers in the under 25-age bracket. Unfortunately, there have been some negatives as well.

' The bad news concerns a rise in the number of older persons, mostly above 50 years of age. Those are the people who stand a far lesser chance of extricating themselves from the ranks of unemployed.'

This continual registered decrease in the unemployment rate in Poland is directly attributed by many to the country's favorable economic performance. Adam Ambrozik, an expert from the Confederation of Polish Employers, agrees only to a certain extent.

' There are two reasons for this. The first is economic growth, which is the highest in the last few years. Secondly, the unemployment rate in the next few months could rise a little bit as we have approached autumn and the end of seasonal work (in agriculture).'

Although the lowest in six years, Poland still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the EU. What's worse, the percentage of gainfully employed in the so-called labor, or production age bracket places it at the very bottom of the list. What can, or must be done to change this situation? Adam Ambrozik says entrepreneurs must be given a more liberal environment.

' We are waiting for a reform of the financial system and the entire environment of enterprises. Their lack, or delay may have very negative influence on the whole country. If the government will not undertake any reforms (in this sphere) we cannot create new work places.'

Though the situation on its labor scene has been improving considerably, Poland continues to be one of the most unemployment ridden EU members. And the latest move of labor minister Anna Kalata, who has resigned from her post over political squabbles in the government coalition will not help find better solutions for the problem. The statistical news is generally good, but Polish job seekers and their potential employers are definitely counting on more.
Source: By Slawek Szefs, polskieradio.pl

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Chairman of Poland's Football Association to resign in October

Chairman of the Poland Football Association Michal Listkiewicz announced Monday that he would resign at the association's congress scheduled on Oct. 27.

The announcement was made at the association's council meeting held in the Sheraton Hotel in Warsaw. Listkiewicz said he would not change his mind even if someone asks him to stay,nor would he seek for a new tenure.

Listkiewicz insisted last Tuesday that he would not resign but asked the council to give him several more days before he made the final decision. The council is not empowered to sack him,but most of its members supposed that he would offer to resign today.

Local opinion believed the main reason for Listkiewicz's resignation is the allegation that he has done almost nothing to stop the football corruption in Poland. The investigation team set up in early July has found out proof of the assocation's wrongdoings and irregularities.

In mid-September,the Ministry of Sports began the administrative suit against the football association and is likely to commission an inspector to take over control of the association. Thus Listkiewicz is in a very difficult situation.

Source: Xinhua

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Lithuania to be linked to EU energy systems through Poland

Lithuania's energy systems Lietuvos Energija and its Polish analogue have initialed an agreement, which clears a project to link Lithuania's energy systems with those of other European Union members.

"Under the agreement, the Lithuanian and Polish energy systems will set up a joint venture to implement an energy bridge project to link Lithuania's energy systems with Poland's and further with the energy systems of other EU members," Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas said in an interview with the private Lithuania television station LNK on Sunday evening.

"The joint venture will make use of EU facilities and build an electricity bridge across Poland which will connect the Lithuanian energy systems to the EU electricity market," the prime minister said.

Unofficial reports indicate that the signing of the agreement will be timed to coincide with Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus' visit to Warsaw on September 29.

Lithuania's Economics Minister Vytas Navickas said on Lithuania's national radio on Monday that currently the country's energy system is only linked to Russia's. "It is extremely important to build a link to the West, so Lithuania will no longer depend on just one country," Navickas said.

Source: interfax.ru

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Poland Consulting Services publishes new real estate market analysis

After the fall of the Iron Curtain in Poland there were first barely available industrial real estates like offices or retail areas which comply with the Western European standards. In the following years until today many new and modern office buildings and shopping centers accrued in big cities. In 2005 there was an increase of investment volume 0 % to 970 million euros on the office market to denote.
Even if the range of property has extended, there are still a lot of investment opportunities concerning the above mentioned real estate sectors. Remember that Poland has at least 18 cities with more than 200.000 inhabitants.

Also, at the domestic building sector there dominates a backlog demand. The domestic real estate market is nowadays characterised by a deficit in supply, so that there is a high potential for the construction industry and real estate investments.

The market analysis highlights in 7 chapters the whole situation of the real estate branch in Poland. At the same time it presents the situation in the biggest Polish cities regarding office buildings, shopping centers, apartment houses, rents, construction companies, brokers and real estate funds.
By means of tables and diagrams the study gives important information for construction companies and brokers, so that market opportunities can be evaluated and indications for their utilisation can be used.

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Poland's jobless rate dips to 15.5 percent in August

Poland's unemployment rate dipped to 15.5 percent in August, down from 15.7 percent a month earlier, according to government figures released Monday.
The Central Statistical Office partly attributed the drop to seasonal work in such sectors as agriculture, forestry and gardening.
The office's numbers were a touch below preliminary figures released earlier this month by the Labor Ministry, which estimated unemployment at 15.6 percent.
In August last year, the jobless rate was 17.8 percent.
Poland's unemployment has gradually declined since its post-1989 peak of 20.7 percent in February 2003. However, it remains the highest in the European Union, which the country joined in 2004.

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Railway in Poland: Over 200 Park&Ride Parking Lots

Since 2005 Polish Railways PKP S.A. managed to arrange parking lots in 168 different cities. By the end of 2006 63 more will be build, providing parking space for 3650 cars. 29 of them will be situated in Mazovia region.
The Park&Ride system is mostly introduced in smaller cities. Passengers travelling to major agglomeration s are offered the possibility to leave their car near the train station and take advantage of railway's offer.
PKP hopes that new costumers will be attracted by the system

The parking lots differ in sizes and availability. Some of them are open for all and some are monitored with access granted only for those who have a valid train ticket.

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PPoland: Retail sales confirm solid domestic demand

  • Sales in the retail sector were up 1.6% m/m in August. The yearly dynamics thus sped up to 11.5%, from the 11.0% seen in July. This figure was slightly higher than we and the market expected (10.4%). Polish households spent more money on fuel, books and newspapers, but a significant jump was recorded in the category of household goods (+16.9% m/m).

  • Such a structure signals that the purchasing power of Poles is on the rise. Improving labor market conditions are certainly one of the factors to thank. A separate report from the Statistical Office showed that the unemployment rate dipped to 15.5% in August, which is the lowest level in nearly six years (since January 2001).

  • The data has a neutral impact on the monetary policy outlook, as it does not change the picture of the economy. It has been obvious for a long time already that the booming economy is helping to create new working opportunities, curb unemployment and improve the financial situation of households. As a result, the consumption of households should remain one of the propelling forces of the economy in the third quarter of this year. The inflationary impacts of ballooning domestic demand is important for policy makers. Even though the core inflation indicators have risen over the previous couple of months, they are all still muted, hovering below the 1.5% level. The central bank should have leeway to wait with a first rate hike until next year.

  • The markets should not react to the data. Attention is focused instead on the political scene and the upcoming MPC meeting (on Wednesday).
Erste Bank

Source:By Mária Fehérová,

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Poland's football federation chief to quit

Michal Listkiewicz, the head of Poland's embattled PZPN football federation, will quit his post on October 27 during a general meeting, a PZPN spokesman revealed on Monday.

Under pressure to quit over a mounting match-fixing scandal in the Polish league, Listkiewicz is expected to make his decision public at the above mentioned date, PZPN spokesman Pawel Kocieba told the Polish PAP news agency.

The Polish federation has been under fire from fans after Poland's disappointing first round exit from this summer's World Cup final.

Meanwhile, Polish justice officials have arrested some 40 PZPN authorised referees, PZPN observers and players on charges of match-fixing in a year-long probe which suggests corruption is wide-spread in all levels of Polish football.

Polish prosecutors and the Ministry of Sport have also launched audits of PZPN files at the headquarters in Warsaw aimed at determining whether the federation's top authorities were involved in match-fixing or other wrongdoing.


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Discovery Networks Launches Channels in Poland

Discovery Networks International, a division of Discovery Communications, will launch seven channels on the new ITI Neovision DTH platform in Poland before the end of 2006.

Two of the channels debuting on ITI Neovision are new to the market: Discovery HD, Poland’s first factual entertainment high-definition channel, and Discovery Historia, a contemporary history channel. Discovery Networks’ existing portfolio of five television brands in Poland, including flagship channel Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, will also be available on the ITI platform from launch.

Discovery HD, which is expected to launch on the ITI platform in October, will offer exclusive content from Discovery Networks’ worldwide library of thousands of hours of high-definition programming, including original HD commissions such as Discovery Atlas.

Discovery Historia will offer a contemporary perspective on the impact and significance of history, providing a broad range of historical content. Created specifically for the Polish market, the channel will consist of both local and international productions encompassing Polish, military, modern and ancient history presented in a variety of formats and from different viewpoints. Local productions will be supplied by a programming co-operation with TVN, Poland’s largest privately owned television broadcaster. The channel is expected to launch on the ITI platform in November 2006.


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EU to extend energy crop aid scheme

The European Commission proposed on Friday expanding subsidies for biofuel crops to encourage the production of renewable energy.

Under the proposal, the energy crop aid scheme introduced in 2004 will cover all the European Union (EU) member states. Previously eight countries were excluded.

As a result, the maximum area which can benefit from the aid will be expanded to 2 million hectares from 1.5 million at present.

In addition, the commission proposed allowing the member states to grant national aid of up to 50 percent of the costs of establishing multiannual crops on areas on which an application for the energy crop aid has been made.

Eight countries, which joined the EU in 2004, are going to be allowed to continue with a separate aid scheme until 2010 instead of 2008, said the commission.

The countries affected are the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia.

The farming of energy crops has become economically viable as oil prices climb, said a commission spokesman on Friday.

The EU is heavily dependent on external energy supply. Dependence in the transport sector exceeded 80 percent in 2004, much higher than the United States, China and India, according to figures of Finland's Neste Oil, a leader in biofuel research.

"With the oil price where it is now, our calculations are that it is now economically viable to do this and we are increasingly seeing people turning to this as an alternative source of energy," said commission agriculture spokesman Michael Mann.

Currently, the majority of the EU member states encourage the use of biofuels in transport by tax incentives. But by 2008, most countries would introduce obligatory measures.

The EU introduced a 45-euro per hectare aid for energy crops in 2004 to provide an incentive for farmers to grow the raw materials for biofuels.

Between 1.2 million and 1.3 million hectares of biofuel crops are being subsidized in 2006, according to the commission.


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Polish unemployment scam hurts Poland

Warsaw, Poland September 22, 2006. With Poland's unemployment officially reported at somewhat over 15%, the Polish Ministry of Labor acknowledges that more than 1 million people registered as unemployed do not want to work. Many of Poland's unemployed have registered as unemployed simply to get health benefits.

Many have questioned why Polish employers are complaining that they cannot find workers with a country that has an official unemployment rate over 15%. But recently released comments by the Ministry of Labour showing that of the approximately 2.5 million people in Poland who are registered as unemployed, 1 million or more of them actually do not want to work. And anecdotal evidence indicates that the 1 million figure may actually be low.

In order to keep one's registration on the unemployment rolls and get health insurance one must attend meetings organized by the Ministry of Labor at which meetings job offers are reviewed. Attendees gets a stamp on their documents that allows them to continue to receive health insurance under the unemployment program.

Meeting organizers report that at a typical meeting where perhaps 15 people attend to get a stamp, after the formal presentation of the meeting it is normal for 12 or 13 of the 15 people to leave the meeting with only 2 or 3 staying behind to actively look at work offers and find work. That means 12 or 13 of 15 people who attend these meetings seem to attend only to get to health insurance.

It maybe that some of these people don't want to work. It may also be that some of these people are illegally employed and are using the unemployment system in order to get health insurance.

Employers are complaining that they cannot find enough employees. Restaurants cannot get waiters, contractors cannot get laborers, and small businesses are unable to find office workers and general laborers. But the country is paying for health insurance on about two and a half million unemployed people, many of whom seem to be just working the system.

New investors are building factories in Poland with the expectation that they will find a well-educated work force. The reality of the labor situation on the ground in Poland may not have struck them yet. They may not find workers all.

Some of the investors have said that they intend to bring Polish expatriates back to Poland. Comments by some of these expatriates, notably from Ireland, say why should they come back to Poland when the living expenses in Poland are about the same as the living expenses and Ireland and the pay scales and living conditions in Ireland are much better than in Poland.

The country remains focused on the political chaos encouraged by the Kaczynski regime and appears to be ignoring an underlying problem that is hurting Poland now and is sure to hurt Poland more in the future.

Source: masterpage.com.p

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